City Council meetings to start at 5:30 p.m.

Residents filled the City Council chambers to discuss a proposed smoking ban during a meeting that lasted nearly six hours in June 2011.

Staff photo

Fayetteville City Council meetings will start a half an hour earlier beginning May 6.

Aldermen voted last month to change the start time from 6 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the request of Martin Schoppmeyer, Ward 3 alderman.

Schoppmeyer said he wanted to coordinate the council meeting start time with the Planning Commission, which meets at 5:30 p.m. the second and fourth Monday of the month.

It’s the first change for City Council meeting times since aldermen voted to move the start time from 6:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. in 2003.

Mayor Lioneld Jordan said the earlier start time gave aldermen and residents a little extra rest at night after long meetings.

“I can tell you during that time, those council meetings would go from 6:30 until – we could go as late as 1 o’clock in the morning,” he said.

Meetings have averaged 2 hours and 20 minutes over the past year, according to videos archived at by the Fayetteville Government Channel.

Aldermen Mark Kinion and Justin Tennant said the new time change was a good idea, but stressed that the meetings should not start any earlier than 5:30 p.m. to make sure residents have enough time to get the meetings after work.